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Selecting the Best Ashwagandha Supplement

The products featured in this article have been independently reviewed by a holistic health practitioner with your wellbeing in mind.

Ashwagandha is an herb that research shows can help manage stress and anxiety, regulate cortisol levels, and aid with feelings of restfulness before bedtime.

Angela Halderson, RDN, CHC, and Integrative & Functional Nutrition Practitioner, explains that ashwagandha is a gentle yet powerful herb. "Ashwagandha is non-habit forming and has few reported side effects for most people. This makes ashwagandha accessible and ideal for people with busy lives who do not want to feel drowsy or jittery. You can take it before bed, in the morning to prepare for a challenging day, or whenever you need additional support. Look for ashwagandha in supplement form from trusted brands and vetted by health practitioners."

Ashwagandha also has the potential to help with the management of thyroid health and hormone production. "Ashwagandha is also great at supporting the thyroid, too," Angela explains. "It helps a sluggish thyroid that may not produce enough thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). A daily dose of ashwagandha can increase TSH levels and, more importantly, T4 and T3 levels, the thyroid hormone hypothyroid sufferers want to get moving." However, those with hyperthyroidism would want to avoid ashwagandha. "Those with a sensitivity to nightshades or follow the autoimmune paleo diet would want to avoid ashwagandha, as it is a nightshade."

Consult with your primary care physician to learn more about what is affecting your hormones, elevated stress and anxiety levels, and sleep disturbances.

If you are ready to shop for ashwagandha, look at the following recommendations for the best ashwagandha supplement, according to health practitioners.

Ashwagandha Supplements to Try

A health practitioner on the NHC staff has vetted every supplement on this list for quality, purity, and potency. NHC only works with brands that meet strict guidelines to ensure what our customers put into their body provides only the potential medicinal support you want.

Many brands that NHC carries offer herbal supplements with non-GMO formulas, vegan capsules, and certified organic herbs packaged without preservatives for support of your overall wellbeing.

Before selecting a supplement, be aware that each supplement is different. Some contain only ashwagandha, while others include additional ingredients for a synergistic benefit. The dosages and concentrations of these ingredients vary. Read the ingredient label and review the manufacturer's dosing guidelines for optimal results.

Ashwagandha by Pure Encapsulations - Top Pick

Ashwagandha by Pure Encapsulations contains 500 milligrams of ashwagandha and uses a standardized herbal extraction process to provide 2.5% of withanolides. Withanolides are known as adaptogens and are the essential compounds in ashwagandha that seeks to support how the mind and body react to stress, anxiety, hormonal challenges, and much more.

  • • Helps moderate occasional stress, anxiety, and other cognitive concerns
  • • May support healthy sleep
  • • May help to manage hormone levels within the normal range
  • • Non-habit forming
  • • May support feelings of calm during challenging life events
  • • Tested for solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, and microbial contaminants, as are all Pure Encapsulations herbal extracts
  • • Hypoallergenic plant fiber is derived from pine cellulose
  • • Made with high-quality ingredients backed by verifiable science
  • • Take 1 capsule daily, with or between meals, or as directed by a health professional

Ashwagandha Root by Gaia Herbs

Ashwagandha Root by Gaia Herbs uses the root of ashwagandha, sourced from India, where suppliers use modern processing facilities to ensure a quality extraction process for transparency and traceability of all raw materials. This formula provides 350 milligrams of ashwagandha and uses a standardized herbal extraction process to provide 2.5% of withanolides.

  • • Helps the body adapt to challenges, including stress and anxiety
  • • Contains ashwagandha root, which has been revered for over 2,000 years
  • • A customer favorite for dealing with ongoing stress
  • • Support for cognitive functions

Cortisol Natural Stress Buster by Xymogen

Cortisolv Natural Stress Buster by Xymogen seeks to help the body resist and recover from everyday stress. Ingredients in this formula have been shown to support the management of cortisol levels, support energy levels and recovery from occasional fatigue, promote mental clarity, support free radical scavenging antioxidants, and support relaxation and restful sleep. The active ingredients in this formula provide 150 milligrams of ashwagandha and use a standardized herbal extraction process to provide 10% withanolides. This formula also contains extracts from magnolia, L-theanine, and Banaba leaf for added support.

  • • Helps the body cope with the physiological effects of stress
  • • Supports healthy cortisol levels
  • • Supports relaxation and restful sleep
  • • Promotes mental clarity
  • • Helps alleviate occasional fatigue
  • • Provides ashwagandha, magnolia, L-theanine, and banaba leaf
  • • Non-GMO and vegan

Adrenal Response by Innate Response

Adrenal Response by Innate Response contains 250 milligrams of ashwagandha and uses a standardized herbal extraction process to provide 10% of withanolides for support of stress, anxiety, and hormone production in a healthy thyroid. This formula also contains basil, Rhodiola, and astragalus to help promote optimal immune system health and function.

  • • Support for energy levels
  • • Support for fatigue recovery
  • • Stress relief support
  • • Supports a healthy immune system
  • • May help to maintain hormone production and cortisol levels
  • • Tested for over 125 chemical substances
  • • Made in a GMP-compliant facility located in the USA

CatecholaCalm by Designs for Health

CatecholaCalm by Designs for Health contains a blend of 100 milligrams of ashwagandha, phosphatidylserine, lemon balm, vitamin C, and other supportive nutrients for feelings of calm during challenging moments in life. Chronic stress can have a cumulative, negative effect on our bodies and minds. This can lead to fatigue, anxiety, a depressed mood, forgetfulness, sleep issues, irritability, and oxidative stress. CatecholaCalm is designed to support healthy adrenal hormone metabolism with adaptogenic herbs and nutrients that may help support normal moods and promote calmness and relaxation. This unique formulation addresses adrenal gland health, which may help people handle occasional stress more effectively.

  • • Promotes a healthy stress response
  • • Supports normal neurotransmitter synthesis
  • • Supports healthy adrenal gland function
  • • Supports normal GABA activity for mental calm
  • • Contains methylated B vitamins for optimal bioavailability
  • • Phosphatidylserine derived from sunflower lecithin

Klaire Labs Calm Support

Calm Support by Klaire Labs (formerly called Cortisol Management from Klaire Labs) is a combination of two patented stress management ingredients to support the body in coping with stress, including Relora, Honokiol, and 85 milligrams of ashwagandha. Busy and demanding lifestyles can create chronic, long-term stress that may tax the HPA axis and negatively affect the stress-response system. The botanical extracts in Cortisol Management have demonstrated efficacy in supporting a healthy HPA axis and balanced stress hormone levels.

  • • Promotes relaxation
  • • Moderates occasional stress
  • • Diminishes stress-related sugar cravings
  • • Provides a non-sedating approach for occasional stress management

Ashwagandha 35 by Xymogen

Ashwagandha 35 by Xymogen features Shoden, a purified extract of the leaves and roots of the ashwagandha plant that has been standardized to an industry-leading concentration of 35% withanolide glycosides. Shoden has been researched for its effects in helping the body adapt to physical and mental stressors and restoring sleep quality.

  • • Seeks to support healthy sleep
  • • Supports stress management
  • • May promote wakefulness
  • • Non-habit forming

Ashwagandha 700 by Gaia Professional Solutions

Ashwagandha 700 by Gaia Professional Solutions helps you to address daily stress with 700 milligrams of ashwagandha per serving, with guaranteed levels of active withanolides, making it a favorite for those dealing with ongoing stress.

  • • Supports a healthy stress response
  • • Supports healthy cortisol levels
  • • Full spectrum, single-herb formula
  • • Vegan
  • • Gluten-free
  • • Soy-free
  • • Certified B Corporation

Ashwagandha Health Benefits Overview

Benefits for Women

A study examining the efficacy of an ashwagandha root extract on climacteric symptoms (hot flashes, mood changes, pain, vaginal dryness, and sexual disorders) and hormonal parameters in perimenopausal women noted positive outcomes. The study gave women 300 milligrams of an ashwagandha root extract twice daily. At the conclusion of the study, women reported a statistical improvement in the reduction of overall symptoms.

Ashwagandha is also reported to help balance hormone production in a healthy thyroid, which may make this herb medicinally beneficial to changing estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol levels at different stages of female reproductive health.

Benefits for Men

Researchers have looked at the effect of ashwagandha on men with fertility issues. Ashwagandha has been proposed to support testosterone levels and help manage stress levels and other factors that may impact reproductive health. Ashwagandha is also considered generally safe, well-tolerated, and less expensive than some traditional fertility therapies.

One study reports that ashwagandha was found to support blood circulation in the body, which may have secondary benefits for sexual health. This also includes support for sexual performance and sperm quality.

Support for Hair Loss

Ashwagandha has been studied to support and manage oxidative stress, which researchers suggest may contribute to gray hairs and hair loss.

In examining several botanical and non-botanical ingredients, researchers have proposed that individuals may potentially be able to maintain the look and feel of their hair with a balanced diet that includes ashwagandha, curcumin, saw palmetto, a tocotrienol and tocopherol complex, hydrolyzed marine collagen, as well as vitamins, and minerals. The researchers note that these ingredients may offer therapeutic value in the body against molecular, hormonal, inflammatory, stress, and environmental factors contributing to hair loss.

Sleep Support

Up to 50 percent of adults will experience insomnia in their lifetime, with around one in ten suffering from chronic insomnia. Due to a lack of knowledge in the area of sleep, a variety of drugs are sometimes prescribed to help induce sleep. However, reports of unpleasant side effects, such as rashes, allergic reactions, changes in behavior, headaches, confusion, dependency, and other problems that affect people’s waking hours, have been reported with some of these products.

Ashwagandha has been proposed as a potential natural remedy for sleep issues. Five sleep studies with more than 400 participants collectively examined the effects of ashwagandha on sleep. They found positive results, especially among those diagnosed with insomnia using a treatment dosage of 600 milligrams per day for 8 weeks. The use of ashwagandha and improvements in sleep were also found to support waking alertness in managing anxiety levels.

Stress and Anxiety Support

Ashwagandha is best known for its potential to support a healthy stress and anxiety response. Research supports this, finding that ashwagandha contains compounds known as adaptogens. These adaptogens help regulate how the body perceives challenging life circumstances and release adrenaline and cortisol.

In a study that included 64 subjects with a reported history of chronic stress, individuals were given 300 milligrams of ashwagandha root extract daily. After 60 days, researchers assessed "the level of stress, depression, anxiety and general wellbeing of an individual using three different sets of stress scales, and serum cortisol levels, a biochemical marker of stress." In concluding the study, researchers note that "ashwagandha root extract improves an individual's resistance towards stress and improves self-assessed quality of life. High-concentration full-spectrum ashwagandha root extract can safely be used as an adaptogen in adults under stress."

In another study, researchers compared the use of naturopathic care (NC) and standardized psychotherapy intervention (PT) during a 12-week period. The study included 81 participants with moderate to severe anxiety. Following the study, researchers noted that the NC group that received dietary counseling, deep breathing relaxation techniques, a standard multivitamin, and the herbal medicine, including ashwagandha, showed improvements in anxiety.

Failure to address stress or anxiety may contribute to headaches, stomach disorders, hives, eczema, psoriasis, allergies, and asthma. Some people also report gastrointestinal tract disorders, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, gas, cramping, and other digestive challenges. While you should not rely on one potential solution to stress and anxiety, ashwagandha may be worth consideration.

Exercise Support

To evaluate the potential use of ashwagandha for the support of physical performance, a study of 57 male patients with limited experience in resistance training were given 300 milligrams of ashwagandha root extract twice daily. Baseline measurements were taken at the start of the study, with measurements of muscle size, body composition, serum testosterone levels, and muscle recovery recorded during the following 8-week period.

As part of the study, muscle strength was evaluated during bench press and leg extension exercises. Muscle recovery was assessed by using serum creatine kinase level as a marker of muscle injury from the effects of exercise.

In concluding the study, researchers state that ashwagandha supplementation supported significant increases in muscle mass and strength. This suggests that ashwagandha supplementation may be helpful in conjunction with a resistance training program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha, known by the scientific name Withania somnifera, is a short perennial shrub belonging to the Solanaceae (nightshade) family of plants, including tomatoes, bell and chili peppers, and tobacco. This family of plants comprises herbs, vines, shrubs, trees, weeds, and ornamentals.

It is also known by the names Ajagandha, Ayurvedic ginseng, Indian ginseng, Ghoda asoda, Hayahvaya, winter cherry, and Vajigandha. This herb has been popular in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years.

Ashwagandha is also known as a Rasayana, a Sanskrit word that means taste, essence, or emotion. The word "rasa" means to preserve, transform, and replenish. The word "ayana" means to increase or circulate. Any Rasayana herb seeks to support both body and mind optimally.

Does Ashwagandha Make You Emotionless?

Some social media users have reported a loss of emotions while taking ashwagandha. Hormones such as cortisol, testosterone, serotonin, GABA, DHEA, and others can affect the emotions you feel and their intensity. While some studies suggest that ashwagandha may help manage hormone levels and how they interact with the central nervous system, no medically reviewed cases show that taking ashwagandha at a recommended dosage will affect emotions.

When taking ashwagandha, if you feel any change in emotion, you should stop taking it immediately and consult your primary care physician.

How Much Ashwagandha Per Day?

There is no recommended daily allowance for ashwagandha. Some studies report administering between 300 to 600 milligrams of ashwagandha daily. The amount of ashwagandha in a supplement also varies. Some supplements provide as little as 100 milligrams of ashwagandha and some more than 600 milligrams.

If you are still determining how much ashwagandha to take daily, speak with a healthcare professional to learn more about your needs.

Does Ashwagandha Affect Heart Health?

Research does not show a direct connection between taking ashwagandha and changes to heart health. However, research has examined the influence of ashwagandha on hormone levels, including cortisol, which is a hormone known to elevate blood pressure and heart rate.

If you are looking to manage your heart health, start with stress and anxiety. You should also consider changes to lifestyle, including weight management, diet, exercise, sleep, and limiting your exposure to cigarette smoke and alcohol.

Is Ashwagandha an Anxiolytic?

An anxiolytic is any intervention method that seeks to regulate anxiety. This can include prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and dietary remedies such as ashwagandha. Research has found that ashwagandha contains compounds described as adaptogens. These adaptogens help the body deal with various daily challenges, including stress and anxiety.

The efficacy of ashwagandha as an anxiolytic is not clear and research is ongoing. If you struggle with anxiety, work with a specialist to find the right balance of therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes to help you feel your best each day.

Ashwagandha Recipes

The most popular ashwagandha recipe is moon milk, a drink that contains a variety of herbs that seek to soothe the mind and body before bedtime. You can also add ashwagandha stems, leaves, or roots to almost any recipe you eat or drink for potential medicinal benefits.

Does Ashwagandha Cause Allergies?

Ashwagandha belongs to the nightshade family of plants. If you are sensitive to nightshade, you may be at risk of an ashwagandha allergy. When taking ashwagandha, if you experience a rash, hives, trouble breathing, or other unexplained side effects, stop use immediately and seek emergency medical help.

What Other Forms of Ashwagandha Can I Consider?

The ashwagandha plant grows natively only in certain regions. The dried stems, leaves, and roots are sometimes available at your local grocer. Some retailers also offer ashwagandha gummies, ashwagandha blended with black pepper for potential absorption benefits, in liquid tinctures that you can add to drinks, in a powder form, and as KSM-66 ashwagandha that is a researched form of ashwagandha that seeks to promote bioavailability and other medicinal benefits.

For potential optimal results, read the label and look for the withanolide content. No matter what form of ashwagandha dietary supplement you take, a withanolide content of 2.5% to 10% is most common and is ideal for potential benefits for the mind and body.

How Should I Select the Best Ashwagandha Product?

This article recommends several ashwagandha supplements, but it's important to consider what to look for when shopping for ashwagandha.

When selecting an ashwagandha supplement, consider the following tips:

  1. 1. Research the brand. Look for reputable brands that have a history of producing high-quality supplements. NHC only stocks products from these brands.
  2. 2. Check the dosage of ashwagandha and its withanolide content. Withanolides are the active compound in ashwagandha that may contribute to its health benefits. Look for supplements that provide information about the withanolides content on the label. Higher withanolide content generally indicates a more potent supplement.
  3. 3. Consider the form. Ashwagandha supplements are available in various forms, including capsules, powders, and liquid extracts. Choose a form that suits your preferences and lifestyle.
  4. 4. Read customer reviews. Customer reviews can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness and quality of a product. Look for reviews from verified buyers to get an accurate representation of the supplement's benefits.
  5. 5. Consult with a healthcare professional. If you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications, it's important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific needs.

How We Chose the Best Supplements

For the ranking, the editorial team consulted with an accredited nutrition expert. Ratings were based on user satisfaction, cost, and third-party certification, and determined solely by the editorial team.

All product prices are accurate as of publication and are subject to change.